Hurricane Sandy, even with its left turn heard ’round the world, was well-forecasted by the National Hurricane Center.

But even with the accurate track forecast, the storm’s “cone of uncertainty,” the estimated track of the eye of the storm, had a range of 121 nautical miles, meaning it could have hit anywhere between Stamford, Connecticut, and Fredricksburg, Virginia.

As it turned out, the storm’s eye made landfall on Brigantine.

The National Hurricane Center has tracked the intensity and location of storms since 1970 and noted errors in forecasts.

And overall, there have been improvements in both the tracking and measuring of intensity of storms since then, although intensity forecasting lags the improvements in track forecasting.

Since 1970, the so-called “cone of uncertainty” has shrunk, from 253.8 nautical miles then to 121 nautical miles in 2012. Now, the cone is 103 miles. These distances reflect the cone at three days before landfall. An earlier, larger, five-day cone is also standard.

“The computer models that we have continue to be better and better. As more observations and data go into the models, we are able to better understand how a storm will move,” said meteorologist Michael Brennan, now the acting chief of the NHC’s Hurricane Specialist Unit.

As part of the Hurricane Specialist Unit, Brennan leads the team responsible for issuing the watches and warnings for tropical systems in the North Atlantic Basin, which includes the United States. They also provide the “big-picture forecast” for other countries, including those in the Caribbean.

When it is not hurricane season, an offseason defined as Dec. 1 to May 31, Brennan and his department conduct weeklong trainings for the emergency management community and the National Weather Service.